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Nursing Homes Neglected The Flu Shot Needs of Residents

Each Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer at our firm knows that the misconduct that affects the lives of elderly residents at these facilities is more often than not caused by systematic misconduct at these homes. This is in contrast to rare, one-time incidents that adversely affect a single resident. Instead, the problem is usually engrained in the facility and it is only a matter of time before one of the residents suffers an injury severe enough to warrant a family to contact professional legal help and initiate an Illinois nursing home neglect lawsuit.

Last week Medline Plus discussed one issue connected to that systematic lapse in proper care giving at nursing homes. A report recently found that the overall percentage of nursing home residents that have received the flu shot was significantly lower than the national goal. Of course, seniors are perhaps the most vulnerable group in the country to suffer severe, even life-threatening, problems as a result of the flu. It is obvious to all elderly caregivers that these individuals need to be vaccinated at all costs against this possible problem. Unfortunately, for some seniors, they are failing to receive this basic life-saving medical prevention tool year after year. In addition to the overall low figures, researchers also discovered that black residents were less likely to receive the vaccine when compared with their white counterparts.

All of this data was collected by researchers at Brown University by analyzing patient records from more than 14,000 nursing homes over three different flu seasons. The flu rates were at around 82% overall, less than the goal of 90% set by the Medicare and Medicaid offices. Broken down by race, white nursing home residents were roughly 23% more likely to receive the shot than whites. What is perhaps particularly shocking is that the disparate rates of flu shots continued even within a single nursing home. In other words, the problem cannot be traced back to the fact that black residents are more likely to live in poorer nursing homes. Even when compared with white residents from the very same nursing homes, the black residents were 15% less likely to have had the vaccination. Clearly more research is needed to determine exactly why black residents are vaccinated less than whites within the same facilities.

Any Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer who hears this news would likely be saddened, but not surprised. For a variety of reasons, many facilities fail to take even the most basic steps that are known to save lives-such as providing proper flu shots. This is unfortunately yet another indicator of the chronic problem of elder neglect faced by so many vulnerable community members. It is up to the friends and family members of many of these seniors to stand up and ensure that they receive the treatment to which they are entitled by their caregivers. If you ever suspect that misconduct has led to harm to a senior you know, please do not fail to take action. Contact an experienced legal professional today and help put an end to this abuse.

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